Hair Loss: Natural Home Treatment

Are you noticing there’s a lot more hair in your brush these days? The average person loses about 50-100 hair strands a day, and up to 3x that much on washing day. If you are losing an unusual amount of hair, you may need some medical support, or changes in your lifestyle.

Hair Loss - Image of a large group of bald/shaven monks

WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS?

  • More hair in your brush than usual
  • Noticeable hair on your pillow in the morning
  • More visible scalp
  • Hair feels thinner

RISK FACTORS

  • Age
  • Anemia
  • Autoimmune condition
  • Chemical poisoning
  • Chemotherapy
  • Dehydration
  • Excess Vitamin A
  • Genetics
  • Illness
  • Inactivity
  • Inadequate protein in the diet
  • Infection
  • Medication
  • Menopause
  • Poor nutrition
  • Pregnancy
  • Prolonged stress
  • Psoriasis
  • Rapid weight loss
  • Thyroid imbalance

ALLOPATHIC TREATMENT

As always, treatment will depend on the cause of hair loss but there are general medications, including OTC Rogaine and the prescription drug Propecia (men only). Transplant surgery is another option.

SELF TREATMENT

If you have a medical condition that causes hair loss, you must treat the condition, though you may find help here in alleviating the symptoms. The substances and suggestions here are offered to you for further research and intended for general hair loss. Also see Hair Care for tips on promoting healthy hair.

DIET

A healthy immune system is always the first line of defense against disease and disorder. To promote a healthy immune system, it is important to eat a balanced diet, with as much variety as you can manage, with lots of whole, fresh vegetables and fruits, and quality protein. Don’t forget healthy sources of monounsaturated fat. The Zone is an excellent starting point.

FOODS THAT MAY PROMOTE HEALING

  • Adequate protein (lack of protein contributes to hair loss and slow growth). For the average woman, 11 ounces a day of protein should be enough.  For a man, about 14.  These figures increase with strenuous exercise.and should be based on your activity level as well as your current muscle mass (see the Zone Diet).  Along with this, get plenty of Omega 3 fatty acids; in all unhealthy conditions, we aim to decrease inflammation in the body.
  • Avocados
  • Bone broth
  • Carrots
  • Cinnamon
  • Coconut oil
  • Eggs
  • Greek yogurt
  • Honey
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Oatmeal
  • Oysters
  • Protein rich in Omega 3’s
  • Salmon
  • Seaweed

FOODS AND OTHER SUBSTANCES TO AVOID

  • Dairy
  • Excessive Vitamin A
  • Fizzy drinks
  • Food additives
  • Fried fatty foods
  • Processed food
  • Smoking can cause hair loss
  • Sugar

TEAS AND OTHER LIQUIDS

Drink or use as hair rinse

  • Chamomile
  • Ginger
  • Green tea
  • Kombucha
  • Lavender
  • Lemongrass
  • Matcha
  • Nettle tea
  • Oolong
  • Rosemary tea
  • Sage tea

HERBS AND SPICES

If you are using herbs as a topical conditioner, cover as much scalp area as possible and put a shower cap on and wait for an hour or so before rinsing. All of these can be used for topical treatments but you will need to google recipes.

Topical treatments

  • Aloe Vera gel
  • Cayenne pepper powder and olive oil
  • Crushed garlic cloves and coconut oilHibiscus flowers with coconut
  • Cumin seeds, soaked
  • Fenugreek (you can make a paste of soaked seeds and use as a conditioner)
  • Hibiscus flowers and coconut oil
  • Indian gooseberry pulp and lemon juice used as a conditioner
  • Licorice root with milk and saffron
  • Peppercorns and lime juice

Other herbs used in variable ways

  • Basil
  • Burdock root
  • Calendula
  • Chamomile
  • Cinnamon
  • Coriander
  • Ginger root
  • Gotu kola
  • Hibiscus
  • Hops
  • Horsetail
  • Lavender
  • Rosemary

ESSENTIAL OILS

Essential oils can be administered via a diffuser for inhalation, administered topically in a carrier oil like coconut on the skin, or undiluted drops can be added to a hot bath or compress. For hair problems, use with a carrier oil as a scalp massage.

  • Birch
  • Castor
  • Cedarwood
  • Clary Sage
  • Emu
  • Flaxseed
  • Jojoba
  • Juniper berry
  • Lavender
  • Lemongrass
  • Peppermint
  • Pumpkin seed oil
  • Rosemary
  • Sage
  • Tea tree
  • Ylang Ylang

OTHER SUBSTANCES AND SUPPLEMENTS

The cost of having a blood test to determine if you have nutritional deficiencies is likely to be negligible compared to over-consuming expensive supplements that you do not need.

  • Pumpkin seed oil as a supplement
  • Rosemary oil as a supplement
  • Saw Palmetto taken internally as a supplement is thought to block the formation of dihydrotestosterone that kills hair follicles.
  • Vitamin E
  • Zinc

HYDRATION

Dehydration hinders healthy hair growth. Water is essential and a main nutrient for the human body. Without it, you cannot survive for many days. Staying hydrated is fundamental for a healthy body, so how much is enough? There are so many differences in people (i.e., how much we sweat), as well as the diets we consume (a lot of water comes from healthy, whole foods), but a general rule is to consume enough water that your urine is clear, but not so much that you dilute your nutrients. If you are taking certain supplements that make your urine yellow, then you can start out with the formula of drinking ½ to one ounce of water for each pound you weigh. If you weigh 130 pounds, drink 65 to 130 ounces of water a day. Definitely drink when you are thirsty.

EXERCISE

Exercise serves several functions that promote healthy hair, including increased blood flow to the scalp.That exercise is beneficial for overall health is undisputed. If you are ill, you will want to take it easy, of course, but there is always something you can do to support your body. Do what you can do without making yourself feel worse. Exercise in fresh air whenever possible.

 

EMOTIONAL SUPPORT

Any kind of stress can cause temporary hair loss. Stay calm. Anxiety undermines health. Practice relaxation exercises, talk to a friend. Do what works for you to keep mellow.

OTHER THINGS YOU CAN DO

  • Argan oil, applied topically.  Leave overnight.
  • Avoid medications when you can.  The worst culprits are chemotherapy and steroids.  Others that may be causing hair loss include blood thinners, beta blockers, NSAIDs, antidepressants and lithium.
  • Beauty treatments?  Consider natural-color hair, air dry rather than blow dry, use heat sparingly, don’t overwash or overbrush.  Skip the hot-oil treatments and don’t braid tightly.
  • Coconut milk left on over night, as often as you like.
  • Dry henna mixed with 1/2 cup yoghurt, applied topically once a month.  Let it dry and then wash.
  • Egg white mixed with a small amount of olive oil, beaten into a paste and applied topically for up to half an hour.  Wash with mild shampoo and rinse with cool water.
  • Gently assage scalp with a monounsaturated, organic oil once a week
  • Massage Vitamin E oil into the scalp and leave on overnight.
  • Onion juice applied topically was shown to increase hair re-growth in a significant number of alopecia areata patinets in a small study reported in an Absract by the US National Library of Medicine.
  • Potato juice applied topically; wait 20 minutes and wash.
  • Rinse hair with water-diluted apple cider vinegar after every washing.
  • Warm green tea applied to the scalp for an hour.  Rinse with cool water.

ALTERNATIVE THERAPIES

CAUTIONS

  • Anemia?  If you have iron-deficiency anemia, your doctor may recommend iron supplements but don’t self-prescribe iron.  Many people have too-high levels of iron, almost as many as have too little.  If in doubt, have a blood test.
  • Hypothyroidism.  Allopathic treatment is a synthetic medication, which should stop the hair loss but may cause other problems.  See the self-treatment section on hypothyroidism.

PREVENTION

  • A wholesome, balanced diet
  • Regular exercise
  • Low stress levels
  • Quality sleep

 

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